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Political landscape changes

GATESVILLE – Change is on its way within the Gates County political scene.

Three veteran Gates County politicians n commissioners J.S. Pierce and L. Frank Rountree along with school board member Paulette Wester n have decided not to seek reelection, thus opening the door for new leadership.

Seven Gates County citizens have opted to throw their proverbial hat into the political arena for those openings; six vying for two seats on the board of commissioners while the other will be unchallenged in the May 6 Primary for Wester’s position on the board of education.

The May Primary filing period ended last Friday (Feb. 29) with races developing for the two seats on the board of commissioners.

Three candidates seek to replace Pierce in District 4 n Earl Rountree and Henry L. Jordan, both of Sunbury, and Charles “Chuck” Brothers Jr. of Gates.

Likewise in District 5 (Rountree’s seat), three hopefuls will seek to become a county commissioner n Graham Twine and Paulette Britt, both of Hobbsville, and Millard “Mickey” Lee of Gatesville.

Ray Felton of Eure was the lone candidate to file for the District 2 Gates County Board of Education seat currently held by Wester.

School board incumbent Dale Saunders of Corapeake filed to retain his District 4 seat. He will be unchallenged in the May Primary.

The only other local county government position open this year is the Gates County Register of Deeds. Sharon Harrell, the incumbent, has filed for reelection and will run unopposed.

April 11 is the deadline for unregistered voters to sign-up to take part in the Primary.

Absentee voting for the Primary will take place between March 17 and April 29.

One-Stop voting will open April 17 for the Primary and closes May 3.

Those wishing to register to vote, request an absentee ballot or participate in One-Stop voting can do so at the Gates County Board of Elections, 112 Court Street, Gatesville, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays.